Dixie's Last Stand: Arkansas vs Texas (1969)

by Kavin Caruso

The game between Arkansas and Texas on Dec 6, 1969 had major implication on determining who will be the National Champions of that season. Both schools have not integrated their football teams until a year later. A newly elected President of the United States, Richard Nixon was on hand to witness a piece of history. Arkansas and Texas were both in the SWC.

Arkansas had a 14 point lead until the 3rd quarter. This game was televised on ABC nationally at noon CST. Arkansas took an early 7-0 lead over Texas in the 1st half. Arkansas scored again in the 3rd quarter. Arkansas scored on a 1 yard touchdown reception by Bill Bennett. In the 3rd quarter, Arkansas scored again on a 29 yard reception by Chuck Dicus. That was all Arkansas scored. It would hurt them in the 4th quarter when Arkansas had some chances to score even more points to put Texas away.

An interception in the end zone by Texas Danny Lester prevented Arkansas from having a big scoring drive. Texas got on the board in the 4th quarter, when quarterback James Street ran for a touchdown. Texas went for two and was able to convert. The score was now 14-8 Arkansas in the early minutes of the 4th quarter. With 3:58 left in the game, Texas came back to grab the lead. Jim Bertelsen ran in for a tying touchdown. The Longhorns then took the lead on the extra point. Just like that, Texas was able to make improbable comeback win in Fayetteville.

Arkansas tried to make a miracle comeback but that was lost when Texas Tom Campell intercepted Bill Montgomery's pass on the Texas 21 yard line with less than a minute to play. Texas was declared winners and would meet Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl; Arkansas played Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.

Both schools would integrate their football teams the following season; it would never be the same for the south and college football in the south. Penn State was supposed to play Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl, but because of segregation rules, they declined to go to Dallas.Arkansas coach Frank Broyles and Texas coach Darrell Royal would retire following the 1976 season.

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